After Jesus’ ascension, his disciples were left with the responsibility of spreading his teachings and establishing Christianity as a religion. The period following his ascension was marked by significant events that shaped the early church. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what Jesus’ disciples did after his ascension.
The Great Commission
Before ascending to heaven, Jesus gave his disciples a mission to spread the gospel throughout the world. This is known as the Great Commission and is recorded in Matthew 28:19-20 which reads: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
This commandment from Jesus was not an easy task for his disciples. It required them to travel far and wide, preach to different people with different cultures and beliefs, and face persecution for their beliefs.
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
Before leaving his disciples, Jesus promised them that he would send them a helper – The Holy Spirit. This promise was fulfilled ten days after Jesus’ ascension during Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles.
The coming of the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus’ disciples to go out into the world and spread his message with boldness. They were no longer afraid or timid but rather emboldened by their faith.
Preaching and Teaching
After receiving power from on high through the Holy Spirit, Peter took on a prominent role in preaching and teaching about Christ’s resurrection. In Acts 2:14-41 we see Peter addressing a large crowd in Jerusalem about how Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies as well as calling people to repentance.
Other disciples such as John also played an important role in preaching about Christ’s message. John wrote the gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John which are still widely read by Christians today.
The apostles’ teaching was not limited to preaching on the streets but also involved establishing churches in different parts of the world. They appointed leaders in these churches and gave them instructions on how to conduct themselves and how to teach others.
In Acts 14:23, we see Paul and Barnabas appointing elders in every church they established. These leaders were responsible for overseeing the church and teaching sound doctrine.
As expected with any new religion, Christianity faced persecution from those who opposed it. The disciples were not exempt from this persecution. In fact, many of them were martyred for their faith.
James, son of Zebedee was beheaded by Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:2), while Paul was imprisoned several times and eventually beheaded under Nero’s rule.
In conclusion, after Jesus’ ascension his disciples were left with a great responsibility to spread his teachings throughout the world. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, they preached, taught, established churches and faced persecution for their faith. Today we can learn from their example as we continue to spread Christ’s message to the world around us.